Microsoft Announces Most Valuable Professional Award Recipients and Sets Date for 2005 MVP Global Summit

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 19, 2005 — Today Microsoft Corp. is pleased to announce the 2005 class of Microsoft
Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs). This select group of outstanding members from online and offline communities represents the richest, most technically and globally diverse community in the program’s history, with more than 2,600 MVPs.

“As we enter the 11th year of the Microsoft MVP Program, we are proud to continue to recognize the most credible experts in the technical communities,” said Sean O’Driscoll, global director of the MVP Program and Technical Communities at Microsoft. “MVPs are truly an inspiration to all of us and share an incredible passion for technology and for helping others.”

The rich diversity that the Microsoft MVP Program enjoys today is a reflection of a multiyear program commitment based on global community feedback to identify new, thriving technical communities and connect with the most active and inspiring people across a broader range of Microsoft products and technologies. For example, since October Microsoft has awarded 173 first-time MVPs, eight of whom represent countries that are new to the program, including Egypt, El Salvador, Ghana, Jamaica, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Tokelau and Tunisia. Given this continued global expansion, the Microsoft MVP Program now represents individuals from 81 countries and 32 languages.

Furthermore, in the past four months the Microsoft MVP Program has introduced a number of new MVPs who represent Microsoft business groups never before part of the program, including MSN® , Microsoft Business Solutions and Microsoft Visual Studio®
Tools for the Microsoft Office System. The program also added nine new solution developers for Visual Studio .NET technologies. Altogether more than 75 Microsoft products and technologies are represented across the program today.

“This is such an incredible group of individuals, and they continue to represent the most select, highest-quality group of participants across the global communities,” O’Driscoll said. “I’m proud to be a part of their experience and to recognize them for their accomplishments and the inspiration they provide to me and to others in the community.”

Upcoming 2005 MVP Global Summit

The annual MVP Global Summit serves as the most exciting way for Microsoft to acknowledge this vibrant group of individuals for their deep and sustained technical expertise and true enthusiasm for the community. This year’s event will take place Sept. 28–Oct. 1 in Redmond, Wash., and will include executive keynote addresses from Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer, Kevin Johnson, group vice president of sales, marketing and services, and Jim Allchin, group vice president of Platforms at Microsoft. More details will be released closer to the event dates.

In addition to the 2005 MVP Global Summit, Microsoft already has hosted more than 10 MVP regional summits across three continents since the start of the program year, with two more regional summits planned for February and April. Through these events, MVPs have the opportunity to meet with each other and receive deep technical training on key product technologies and have access to leading Microsoft executives and product managers.

Microsoft MVP Program History

Microsoft began the MVP Awards in the early 1990s as a way to recognize those members of the general public who devoted their time and considerable technical expertise to helping users in various online technical forums. Over time the Microsoft MVP program evolved, and awards are now given to the most outstanding members for their exceptional contributions to hundreds of online and offline technical communities, including Microsoft public newsgroups. Today there are more than 1.6 million active community members participating at or news:// each year, in addition to thousands of newsgroups and third-party peer-to-peer Web sites hosting Web boards and Web logs (or blogs), and local user groups — all popular forums for communicating with peers about Microsoft products, technologies and services.

Most MVPs average more than 15 years of technical experience in their fields. They are men and women ranging in age from 13 to their mid-60s who represent an extremely broad range of backgrounds and professions. Many are also published authors, operators of Web sites devoted to one or more Microsoft products, public speakers, trainers and professional developers.

More information about the Microsoft MVP Program and the 2005 MVPs can be found at . More information about Microsoft technical communities can be found at .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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